Mary Patterson McPherson brought intense energy, wisdom, humor, and a unique personal style to every facet of her life at the College. She devoted a major part of her life to the progress of Bryn Mawr and the good of higher education nationally. During her 35 years of association with Bryn Mawr College, as graduate student, lecturer, Assistant Dean, Dean of the Undergraduate College, and, for 19 years as President, McPherson proved herself to be a national leader in education by encouraging the highest standards of achievement among all members of the Bryn Mawr community.
In 1997, the last year of McPherson's presidency, the Trustees established the McPherson Fund for Excellence to celebrate the Bryn Mawr values that McPherson has personified, particularly her commitment to the entire College community. The McPherson Awards inspire and honor outstanding faculty and staff members, graduate students, and undergraduates.
Each year, the College honors McPherson Fellows from the faculty, the staff, and the graduate and undergraduate student bodies. Recipients are recognized for excellence and service to the community, either within or beyond the boundaries of this institution.
In your time at Bryn Mawr, one of your more important projects is about learning to live together in a community both residential and intellectual, about sharing your ideas with each other and discovering new ideas in the process, and about practicing the kind of responsibility to each other and to the group as a whole that we need more of in this world."
— Mary Patterson McPherson, Ph.D. '69